All posts filed under: Salads

Strawberry, Concord Grape, Red Onion, Baby Lettuce Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing and Chopped Hazelnuts

  Pour some sugar on me, salad baby!  This salad is bursting with Summer and sweetness and color.  The fruit and poppy seed combo is nothing new (who doesn’t love a lemon poppy seed cake?!), but when combined with the tang and bite of red onion and buttery baby greens, the mix just comes alive and skips on your tastebuds.  Making this salad was a lot of fun, and it was even more fun to eat.  The sweetest part about this salad is the low-calorie value–Livestrong.com/MyPlate tells me the dressing is only 70 calories and 2 grams of fat per serving.  The dressing comes straight from the sweetest cook on TV, Paula Deen, while the salad mix is my own.  Enjoy! I started with some gorgeous strawberries and concord grapes from the farmers market in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY.  The grapes were supplied by Red Jacket Orchards.  Concord grapes are my new favorite grape (and maybe fruit… though the Honeycrisp apple really is sooooo fantastic.)  They are bursting with flavor and taste exactly like Welch’s grape juice.  …

Carrot Ginger Dressing

Ever heard of GOOP?  That’s Gwyneth Paltrow’s newsletter dedicated to food, travel, health, and more.  A few months ago, after hearing about all types of cleanses (from bottled stuff at $300 and up to multi-cleanse pills for a lot less) from friends and various magazine articles, I decided to try one myself–but I wanted something that wouldn’t make me feel completely deprived.  Clean should feel good… not like suffering.  So I fell upon the GOOP cleanse.  Paltrow had approached her doctor about a healthy cleanse, and he created this week-long menu.  I followed this cleanse for about 4 days and substituted where I needed to.  I loved the results.  The best part of the GOOP cleanse was this awesome salad dressing, which I now make frequently and use on top of salads or as a dip for crudites.  One word of warning here: the shallot and ginger in the recipe can, um, add some yuckiness to your breath–so you may want to make sure you eat it alone or that your partner enjoys it too. …

Escarole Salad, Walnuts, Red Onion, Pecorino

Escarole is most commonly eaten cooked.  After first having it raw and cold in a salad at Otto a few years ago, I knew I had discovered another wonderfully crunchy, hearty, and crisp salad green–similar to romaine, but with more umph and bitterness.  At Otto, Mario Batali’s kitchen prepared it simply with a lemon & olive oil dressing, Marcona almond halves, curls of parmesan, and peeled Jerusalem artichokes, raw, and sliced thin.  Since Otto, I also discoverd an escarole salad at Centro Vinoteca (which is now off the menu) that Anne Burrell prepared with pickled red onions.  She generously shared that recipe on the Food Network, and I chronicled that recipe here. I purchased a gorgeous head of escarole at the farmers market over the weekend and wanted to try a different salad recipe.  I recently picked up a copy of the Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual, after falling in love with their Caesar Salad recipe, which I also chronicled here.  When browsing through the salad section of the book, I found this …

Romaine Hearts with Caesar Salad Dressing

 I don’t know anyone that doesn’t like a cold, fresh caesar salad.  Few things go better with steak or a big bowl of pasta.  Most bottled caesar dressings are more vinegar & oil based versus the real deal which is made with eggs, olive oil, anchovies, and other wonderful bits.  I’ve experimented with different authentic caesar dressing recipes over the years, and I find they never turn out quite right.  Maybe it’s because I’m afraid of the 1/2 cup of oil they call for… or I worry that my eggs aren’t fresh enough.  So when I stumbled on this version, deliciously served at a fabulous restaurant for years, I had to try it.  The secret ingredient: mayo and no eggs.  And it’s full of other surprises (like using grated pecorino romano NOT parmesan.) I slightly modified this recipe to suit what I had on hand and to keep the calories down.  I also included my quick homemade croutons recipe below. First some minced garlic and a teaspoon of anchovy paste (you can substitute 2 minced …

Haricots Verts with Parmesan and Pine Nuts

 I’m a salad fanatic, and I’m always trying to think of salads that don’t rely on lettuce to do the heavy lifting.  When I saw these french beans in the market, a light bulb went off.  Here’s my take on a frenchy haricots verts salad, perfect for Summer.  Super easy, super fresh. First you need to trim the beans, flash boil them, then plunge them into an ice bath to quickly stop the cooking process and give the beans a bright green color.  Be careful not to overcook!  You want the beans to be crisp and have a real bite to them. While you’re waiting for the water to boil to cook the beans, prepare the pine nuts and red onion.  Mince the red onion and toast the pine nuts (watch carefully–don’t burn them!) Now bring it all together.  Whisk the garlic oil with the lemon juice (see MC’s Romaine Salad for instructions on garlic oil).  Add the french beans and the red onion.  Toss to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Top with …

MC’s Romaine Salad with Red Onion and Garlic Lemon Dressing

This salad has been in my family for decades.  My grandmother made it for years and then my mother took over, adding her own little touches.  My mom has served this for a family of four on a random Tuesday night and to over 50 people at a formal Christmas dinner.  It fits in and impresses anyone, anytime.  It has reached a point of perfection, so much so that Nick literally wants to eat it every night (and sometimes pack some for lunch the next day.) The ingredients and methods are simple, but an important note: you MUST make the infused garlic oil (for the garlic lemon dressing) at least 24 hours ahead of time.  If you try to rush this step, you will be unimpressed with the results.  Here you go, MC’s legendary romaine salad.  First, the dressing. Roughly chop 8 cloves of peeled garlic and plop into a glass jar.  Nothing fancy here. If you’re using a smallish jar, fill with canola oil to the top.  If using a larger jar, just go …

Greek orzo salad with sun-dried tomato and feta

When it’s hot outside, and you’re grilling, side dishes need to be kept simple.  Usually a few ears of corn, cole slaw, and a bag of chips are the perfect companions to burgers, hot dogs, and any grilled chicken or meat.  I like to make pasta salads too–“kitchen sink” type of pasta salads.  Any bite-size pasta shape works (corkscrew, bow-tie, penne, whatever) plus the entire contents of my vegetable drawer (broccoli, grape tomatoes, red onion, etc.) and some Newman’s Own light Italian dressing.  Mixed together and chilled–super simple and always a crowd pleaser. I was watching an episode of “Barefoot Contessa” on the Food Network, and watched Ina Garten as she made a tomato feta pasta salad.  Her dressing looked awesome (and it was a far cry from bottled dressing), so I decided to take that cue from her and improvise the rest with my fridge’s current “kitchen sink” of offerings. First, I began by boiling half a box of orzo, rinsing for several minutes under cold water, then spraying with Pam to prevent from …